You have no idea how many fun things for this title started with S (sugar, sweet, science, study, Sniffles, snacks…) but I decided to do this. And hey, second fave finally gets a featuring role (Flaky is first fave, Sniffles is second, Flippy is a close third, Handy and Petunia are fourth and fifth respectively. The rest are somewhere else, but honestly I've learned to love every tree friend).
Sniffles paced back and forth, occasionally pausing to take a look at the jittery green squirrel sitting in a chair in the middle of his room. "So you're saying all of a sudden, you just stopped tasting sugar?"
Nutty nodded furiously. "I came home, and I wAs going to eat mY after-after breakfast pre-lunch sNack, but it didnt tasTe liKe anything and then I was sad."
Sniffles nodded. "Right. So...that's the first time that happened?"
"WeLl, my after-breakfast pre-pre lunch snack tasTed kinda weiRd but I thOught it was just me."
The anteater jotted some noted on a notepad. "Hmmmm...Nutty, when was the last time you ate something that wasn't candy?"
Nutty put a paw to his chin. "YesteRday for after-lunch pRe-pre-dinner snack I hAd ice creaM."
Sniffles sighed. "That doesn't count. I mean, like actual food."
The green squirrel looked angry. "Candy IS real fOod!"
Sniffles rolled his eyes. "Mhm." He checked his notepad. "It seems like your taste buds are in a state of imbalance. You've been consuming so much sugar that your taste for sweet foods has dulled."
Nutty gasped. "You mean I caNt taste sweetS anymoRe? At ALL?"
Sniffles twitched one ear. "Well, uh, temporarily at least. You're going to have to expand your palate to bring your tastes back to normal."
"You mean, stUff other tHan candY?"
Nutty became panicked. "But-but thAt's all I eaT!"
Sniffles rolled his eyes. "No. Really?"
"It was...okay, never mind. Look, we're going to go to the store and get you some food that isn't full of junk and sugar. Okay?"
Nutty looked upset. "Okay."
They had been in the store for fifteen minutes and Sniffles already wanted to climb out a window. "How about a loaf of bread?"
Nutty stared at the bread with narrowed eyes. He didn't blink for about five minutes before shaking his head. "No. WhAt else is thEre?"
Sniffles threw his paws in the air. "Almost nothing! We've gone through nearly the entire store."
Nutty considered this. "Well, whAt do YOU like to eat?"
Sniffles sucked in a breath. "Let's not go there."
A few days later, an exhausted Sniffles had finally perfected his sugar substitute candy he had created for his sweet-deprived patient. Carrying a basket of various snacks, he knocked on the front door to Nutty's house only to be greeted with an ear-bursting screech from somewhere inside. Flaky, who happened to walking by, winced. "He's been doing that for days," she informed the anteater. "Flippy and I have been checking in on him a bit but he just sits in a dark room and makes crying noises."
Sniffles winced, deciding to place the candy basket on Nutty's front doorstep. A few minutes later, a tornado came bursting out of the door to shovel the artificial sugar down his gullet.
Sniffles and Flaky watched with a kind of morbid fascination as the green squirrel gobbled the fake candy, then looked up with smears around his snout. "CaN you bring more?"
Lost for words, Sniffles nodded.